|The Most Reverend
|Apostolic Nuncio to Great Britain|
Antonio Mennini during Invocation 2011
|Church||Roman Catholic Church|
|Appointed||18 December 2010|
|Predecessor||Faustino Sainz Muñoz|
|Ordination||14 December 1974
by Ugo Poletti
|Consecration||12 September 2000
by Angelo Sodano
|Birth name||Antonio Mennini|
2 September 1947 |
|Coat of arms|
|Ordination history of Antonio Mennini|
|Ordained by||Ugo Poletti (Card. Vic.)|
|Date of ordination||14 December 1974|
|Principal consecrator||Angelo Sodano (Card. Sec. of State|
|Co-consecrators||Camillo Ruini (Card. Vic.)
Jean-Louis Tauran (Sec. for Relations w. States)
|Date of consecration||12 September 2000|
|Reference style||The Most Reverend|
|Spoken style||Your Excellency|
Antonio Mennini (born 2 September 1947) is an Italian prelate of the Roman Catholic Church. He has served as the Nuncio to Great Britain since 18 December 2010, having been appointed by Pope Benedict XVI.
Mennini was born in Rome, Italy, in a family that has strong links with the Holy See. His father, Luigi Mennini, who died in 1997, was managing director of the Holy See's Institute for Works of Religion (the Vatican Bank) at the time allegations of money laundering were made against Archbishop Paul Marcinkus, the Institute's sometime president. Antonio Mennini has 13 siblings, among them Pietro Mennini, who is the Procuratore della Repubblica di Chieti ("Public Prosecutor of Chieti").
Mennini is known in Italy as the priest who heard the final confession of the country’s murdered Prime Minister, Aldo Moro, in the 1970s. Moro had been kidnapped and was being held captive in a secret location by the Red Brigades, a leftist Italian militant group. Archbishop Mennini, then an assistant priest, is believed to have delivered a letter to the terrorists from Pope Paul VI and a letter to Mr Moro from his wife. Shortly after his secret mission, the Prime Minister was killed and his body dumped in central Rome. The Vatican shielded the priest from ever having to testify in subsequent state hearings concerning Moro’s abduction and murder, until Pope Francis authorized him to do so in 2015.
After obtaining the degree Doctor of Theology he entered the diplomatic service of the Holy See in 1981, serving as an attache in the Pontifical Representations in Uganda and Turkey, and then in the Council for the Public Affairs of the Church.
Nuncio to Bulgaria
On 8 July 2000, he was appointed Titular Archbishop of Ferentium by Pope John Paul II. Mennini received his episcopal consecration on 12 September from Cardinal Angelo Sodano, with Cardinals Camillo Ruini and Jean-Louis Tauran serving as co-consecrators.
Upon his arrival in Bulgaria, he began preparing Pope John Paul II’s 2002 pastoral visit to the Eastern European country amid great controversy. However, the visit was hailed as a success, largely because the new nuncio established excellent working relations with Orthodox leaders who had originally opposed it.
Nuncio to Russia and Uzbekistan
In 2002 he was posted to Russia and from 2008 was also accredited to Uzbekistan. He is credited with notably improving the Holy See’s relations with the former Soviet countries in the Federation and with the Russian Orthodox Church.
As recently as 2001 Rome was criticised by the Russian Orthodox for establishing dioceses without adequate consultation in Russia. However, through the nuncio’s fence-mending efforts the situation gradually began to change and in December 2009 President Dmitry Medvedev approved the establishment of full diplomatic relations between the two states. On 13 February 2011 Dmitry Medvedev awarded Mennini the Order of Friendship for his contribution to the development of Russian-Vatican relations.
Nuncio to Great Britain
Mennini was named Nuncio to Great Britain on 18 December 2010 following the early retirement of Archbishop Faustino Sainz Muñoz on 2 December 2010. As the new Apostolic Nuncio to the UK, Archbishop Antonio Mennini, presented his credentials to The Queen on 2 March 2011.
One of the most important duties facing Archbishop Mennini as Nuncio will be to oversee the vetting process for the appointment of a substantial number of new bishops for England, Wales and Scotland. For example, three of Scotland's eight bishops have applied to retire on age and health grounds; these include Vincent Logan of Dunkeld and John Cunningham, Bishop of Galloway, while two more are expected to have left by the end of 2013.
Most significantly, Pope Benedict XVI accepted the resignation of Cardinal Keith O'Brien, Archbishop of St Andrews and Edinburgh and Britain's then most senior cleric, on 25 February 2013. Two days later, the Pope likewise accepted that of Patrick Altham Kelly, Archbishop of Liverpool. Mennini will play a central role in the appointment of their successors.
A writer in the English Catholic publication The Tablet considered it likely that Archbishop Mennini's appointment was recognition that delicate diplomatic work that will be required for the establishment of the personal ordinariate for former Anglicans in Britain.
||This section of a biography of a living person does not include any references or sources. (November 2013) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)|
- Besides his native Italian, he can speak English, French, Spanish, German, Bulgarian and Russian.
- One of his hobbies is keeping pet guinea pigs.
- "ARCHBISHOP ANTONIO MENNINI IS THE NEW NUNCIO TO GIBRALTAR". chronicle.gi. 2010-12-31.
- "Photo archive of Roberto Calvi". philipwillan.com.
- "Il primo giorno di Pietro Mennini". Il Centro Chieti. 2009-08-04.
- The Tablet - News
- "Papal nuncio to testify about failed negotiations in 1978 kidnap-murder of former Italian premier?". Catholic Culture. Published: 9 March 2015.
- "Pope helps shed light on notorious Italy murder". UCANews. Published: 7 March 2015.
- "Holy See Sends 1st Nuncio to Russia". zenit.org. 2010-07-27.
- "Former Vatican Ambassador to Russia is decorated with Order of Friendship". interfax-religion.com. 2011-02-18.
- "Great Britain receives new papal delegate from Pope". Catholicnewsagency.com. 2010-12-18.
- "Nuncio to Great Britain to retire due to ill health". CatholicHerald.co.uk. 2010-11-12.
- "New Apostolic Nuncio presented to HM Queen Elizabeth". rcdow.org.uk. 2011-02-03.
|Catholic Church titles|
|Titular archbishop of Ferentium
Blasco Francisco Collaço
|Nuncio to Bulgaria
|Nuncio to Russia
|Nuncio to Uzbekistan
Faustino Sainz Muñoz
|Nuncio to Great Britain
18 December 2010–present